This book examines how families strive to make sense of cancer and care for sufferers in Baoma, a village of 500 residents six kilometers from Langzhong city, China. It considers how villagers in Langzhong understand the development of cancer, how they cope with it, and how it affects and is affected by family relations. Drawing on her interactions with the families of two cancer sufferers, the chapterlooks at the moral economy of cancer and how morality is contested in contemporary China. It also investigates how sufferers and their families deal with problems of access to health care. By studying villagers' attitudes and strategies of care, the chpater highlights the wider dimensions of social and cultural life in contemporary rural China—what she terms “fighting for breath.” It shows that villagers' fight for breath is not only about fighting for survival but also about the search for a moral existence.
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